Edgework: Critical Essays on Knowledge and Politics by Wendy Brown

By Wendy Brown

Edgework brings jointly seven of Wendy Brown's so much provocative fresh essays in political and cultural conception. they vary from explorations of politics post-9/11 to serious reflections at the educational norms governing feminist reviews and political concept. Edgework can also be taken with the highbrow and political worth of critique itself. It renders modern the traditional jurisprudential that means of critique as krisis, during which a tear within the textile of justice turns into the get together of a public sifting or thoughtfulness, the improvement of standards for judgment, and the inauguration of political renewal or recovery. each one essay probes a latest problem--the cost of being unpatriotic for dissenting from U.S. international coverage, the erosion of liberal democracy by means of neoliberal political rationality, feminism's lack of a innovative horizon--and seeks to know the highbrow deadlock the matter indications in addition to the political incitement it might harbor.

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Neoliberal rationality, while foregrounding the market, is not only or even primarily focused on the economy; it involves 40 ■ CHAPTER THREE extending and disseminating market values to all institutions and social action, even as the market itself remains a distinctive player. This essay explores the political implications of neoliberal rationality for liberal democracy—the implications of the political rationality corresponding to, legitimating, and legitimated by the neoliberal turn. While Lemke, following Foucault, is careful to mark some of the differences between Ordo-liberal thought and its successor and radicalizer, the Chicago School, I will be treating contemporary neoliberal political rationality without attending to these differences in some of its source material.

The replacement of rivalry with identification through group love for the same object is precarious, secondly, because of what Freud formulates as anxiety about the contagion effect of taboo violation—a violation that breaks the collective awe of the taboo and especially the commitment to repressing hostility toward the revered object or being that is represented by the taboo. In Freud’s account, the fear is that if one person succeeds in gratifying a repressed or unconscious desire, and that gratification is not immediately punished or avenged by the group, the same desire is bound to be kindled in other members of the community (TT, 71).

As the patriotic scoundrels often do. But if dissent is, potentially, a form of love, and if all love entails idealization, what might be the idealization entailed in relentless practices of dissent or critique? This is a question so complex that most of its provocation must be held for another essay. What can be acknowledged here is that idealization of an eternally deferred elsewhere, of a utopian version of one’s polity, surely animates the work of the radical critic just as idealization of the existing state of things, or more often of a polity’s past, animates the conservative patriot.

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